More Cattle Theft in Western States

November 1, 2013

The effects of cattle theft did not fully dawn on rancher Candace Owen until she got a call in 2010 from a fellow rancher. It was a heads-up alerting her that some of her cows were missing their calves.

The clue that something was amiss: Each cow was “tight-bagged,” the term ranchers use to describe cows with sagging udders that have not been milked.

Owen soon discovered that as many as 25 calves had been taken from her ranch in Red Bluff, Calif. She had been hit by cattle rustlers, characters that for most people exist only in history books and cowboy movies.

Cattle rustling, it turns out, has never gone away. And it’s on the rise in California and nationwide.

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